By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City Regional Trial Court (RTC) is expected to conduct a hearing today on the temporary restraining order being sought by Bacolod City mayoral candidate, former Bacolod City Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue; candidate for Bacolod City vice mayor, former Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson; and businessman Antonio Wong against the P1.7 billion loan the city government plans to borrow from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Based on documentation obtained by Watchmen Daily Journal, the case will be heard before RTC Branch 44 and presided over by Judge Ana Celeste Bernad.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., where all parties will have an opportunity to testify and defendants will argue the merits of the restraining order.
Last month, the group’s legal counsel, Atty. Cesar Beloria, Jr., explained the civil case concerns city officials who pushed for the loan before the Sangguniang Panlungsod and officials from the DBP.
He explained, during the hearings conducted in November of last year pertaining to the loan, only a select group of individuals were invited to attend, namely city department heads, city employees, and barangay officials said to be political allies of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Beloria further stressed, following the said hearing, the proposal for the loan was then railroaded, claiming Leonardia received a letter from DBP informing him the loan was already approved.
In response to the case, Grupo Progreso, the political coalition led by incumbent Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, called it “politicking” and a scheme to “delay and stop the developments of the city.”/DGB, WDJ